Project Purley

The Local History Society for Purley on Thames

The Huscarle Family

Three knights fees were held in Berkshire under the Honour of Wallingford by Gilbert Huscarle in 1166, one of which may have been the manor of Purley Magna Richard Huscarle, believed to be the son of Gilbert Huscarle, was in possession of the manor of Purley Magna in 1176. He was due to pay a fee of 5 marks but he paid only 2½ marks and owed the rest.

In 1180 Roland Huscarle gave four parcels of land and their rents to the monks of the Abbey of Thame. They were:- One virgate tenanted by Nicholas Esperner for 50/- pa; Half a virgate; six acres leased to Thomas Stone for 4/- pa; one acre held by Geoffrey Hosier for 12d pa. He was described as the heir to Richard Huscarle in 1199 when he was in possession of the manor of Purley Magna, part of two knights fees held in Berkshire.

In 1211 Ruelart (or Richard) Huscarle was recorded in the Pipe Roll as having paid his Scutage of Wales in the Honour of Wallingford. The next year he was succeeded by his son Thomas as Lord of the Manor of Purley Magna. Thomas was recorded in the Book of Fees as having three knights fees in the Honour of Wallingford. Roland's widow Olivia de Auvers claimed through her attorney a third part of two carucates of land with all its appurtenances in Purley as her dowry, wherewith Roeland Huscarle, her former husband had endowed her. This was agreed to by Thomas Huscarle in 1212. In 1224 he confirmed to the Abbot of Thame the virgate of land in Purley which his father had given the monastery and in 1225 he witnessed a formal agreement (convencio) between Sir Geoffrey de Chausey and the Prioress and Nuns of Claro Rivo.

In 1229 William Huscarle owed half a mark for unjust detention and 9 marks for three knights fees. John Huscarle accounted for 30s re his father. He paid 1 mark and owed 43s 4d. William Huscarle had succeeded Thomas Huscarle as Lord of the Manor of Purley Magna. He held one fourth of a knights fee in Berkshire as of the Honour of Wallingford.

Roland Huscarle was in possession of Purley Magna in 1307 which he had settled on himself and his wife Margaret.

In 1313 Thomas Huscarle came of age and settled Purley in the name of himself and his wife Julian. As Sir Thomas Huscarle he witnessed a grant of the manor of Lethempstead at Newbury in 1337.

Sir Thomas Huscarle was in London on the Thursday before St Barnabas's day 1339 and was witness to two enrollments of release by John de Shoppenhanger to Sir Nicholas de la Beche.

A ninth of all corn, wool and lambs and a tax on all churches had to be levied, the monies going to the king for his urgent need for the defence of the realm and his expedition of war. Certain lords of towns had tried to defraud the king of the greater part of this revenue. On July 15th Edward III wrote to a leading cleric and a number of prominent men in each county laying upon them personally the responsibility to collect. In Berkshire it was addressed to the Prior of Wallingford, Philip de Engelfield, Thomas Huscarle, Richard Paynell and Robert Marie. Edward used this money to raise a professional army (rather than a feudal levy) to invade France in the summer. His method of raising money created the monopoly of the wool trade known as the staple.

In 1343 Sir Thomas Huscarle married his second wife Lucy, who was the daughter and heir of Sir Richard Willoughby. A fresh settlement of the manor of Purley Magna was made on them and the heirs of their bodies with contingent remainder to John son of Sir Thomas and his heirs.

There was a suit over a debt of 120 shillings reputedly owed by John de Purle in 1352. Nicholas Carew mainperned himself for the 120s as well as costs and damages if the deed which could prove the rights of the matter was not found.

Lucy Huscarle, the widow of Sir Thomas Huscarle, did fealty to the Black Prince at Westminster on Feb 11th. 1354 She held the manor of Purley Magna, together with those of Beddington, Surrey and Brightwell for three knights fees and an obligation to provide two men at arms for 40 days to garrison Wallingford Castle if it became involved in war. On May 9th Gilbert de Crossley, Keeper of the Fees of the Honor of Wallingford, was enjoined by the Black Prince not to meddle in the affairs of the heir of Sir Thomas Huscarle (presumably his son Thomas) as his widow Lucy was the rightful holder of Purley Magna.

Lucy Huscarle was remarried to Nicholas Carew in 1357. Sir Thomas Huscarle's son John who had been named in the settlement of 1343 had died without issue. The Trustees of the estate of Thomas, son of Sir Thomas Huscarle and Lucy granted the Manor of Purley Magna to his step father, Nicholas Carew, with reversion to his son of the same name and the heirs of his body and contingent remainder to the right heirs of Sir Thomas. In 1370 John Hokkele who was the kinsman and heir to Sir Thomas Huscarles, formally gave up his claims to Purley Magna in a Quitclaim dated 29th May. Presumably to Nicholas Carew who had married Lucy, the widow of Sir Thomas. The remaining heirs of Sir Thomas Huscarle also gave up their claims on the estate of Purley Magna in a quitclaim. One of these was Agnes Boukhede, his cousin who recognised the claims of Nicholas Carew the elder.

This was the last mention of the Huscarles in connection with Purley. In the 1980s a road in Purley was named Huscarle Way to recall the family.

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